Fáva – not Hummus



200gm fáva

1 shallot – or half an onion, coarsely chopped.

1 bay leaf


Olive oil

To serve

Dried oregano

I small onion, chopped finely

Olive oil

Lemon juice, capers, as required

Salt and ground black pepper


First of all, spread the fáva out on a plate, or a board, to check for any occasional small, stray stones !

Next put the fáva into a sieve, and give it a good rinse under the cold tap.

Put the washed fáva into a fairly large saucepan, cover with water, add the chopped shallot (or coarsely  chopped onion), salt,bay leaf and a glug of olive oil – about a tablespoon.

Bring the mixture to the boil, taking care it doesn’t boil over – it does have a tendency to do that! Allow to simmer for about 25 minutes. While it is cooking, a froth will appear on the surface – carefully skim off as much of this as possible. Make sure that it doesn’t boil dry too, it needs to have some cooking liquid left.- it needs to have the consistency of slightly runny porridge.

When the fáva is cooked, remove the bay leaf and allow to cool for a couple of minutes. Take a a stick blender and blend the mixture until you have a fairly thick, smooth purée – something like the consistency of runny mashed potato.

Put the mixture onto plates or into small bowls, and serve, either cold or warm, with chopped onions, oregano, and a good drizzle of olive oil. Lemon juice and capers may be added as required.

Serve with plenty of crusty bread, or warm pitta bread.